2008 SWDG Recommendation Summary

This Software Developers Working Group identified EITC software enhancements. The improvements help tax return preparers meet their due diligence requirements and improve EITC accuracy.

The IRS/EITC Software Developers' Group identified EITC software enhancements that help tax return preparers meet their due diligence requirements and improve EITC accuracy.

The group recommended the following software enhancements as best practices:

  1. Eliminate the use of default answers where answers are critical to return accuracy.
  2. Include pop-ups or additional diagnostics with suggested additional inquiries the preparer may make to assist the preparer to comply with EITC due diligence requirements and identify questionable EITC situations.
  3. Use diagnostics or training/job aids to facilitate the gathering of information from the taxpayer on sensitive questions and additional information.
  4. Incorporate "note" capability in the software so the preparer can record any additional inquiries made and the taxpayer responses.
  5. Promote thorough interviews through additional software questions, job aids, training materials and help screens.
  6. Add a reminder to preparers that they cannot rely on the software alone to meet their due diligence requirements. The preparer must have a complete understanding of the tax law.
  7. Incorporate links in the software to IRS EITC training and resource materials.
  8. Incorporate EITC training materials in the software.

Annual Reports

Recommendation Summaries


The Software Developers Working Group would like to hear from you. Send any suggestions for improving tax preparation software or the administration of EITC and other refundable credits to:


There is no requirement for the software companies to implement the recommendations; it is voluntary. But they were well received; two thirds of the software companies who responded to a July 2008 survey, planned to implement the first seven of the recommendations. Four survey respondents did not intend on implementing the last recommendation to incorporate training materials. The four software packages already had screens or links pointing directly to information on the IRS website.

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 04-Jun-2014